I started this blog with one of Halford’s flies – No.77, the Artful Dodger. So to end my most recent day in the VR Cave at the Corsham Institute I wanted to do my interpretation of Halford’s original pattern. So here it is, the Artful Dodger Reboot. Anyone want to try this one out on the Test? Neil?
Watching videos of fly tying, I’m aware of how tight the feathers and string are tied around the hook. The fly tyer never lets the twine relax, always maintaining tension until the end is fixed, often with a final blob of glue or varnish. Everything is held together by twist upon twist of twine, binding the different elements into a mimetic shape that can then withstand the stresses of being cast onto the water, again and again, before being swallowed by a fish. In VR it couldn’t be more different: nothing is solid, there is no tension, ‘feather’ can pass through metal hook, a twist of twine can float just off the surface of the shank; there is nothing to pull against, to secure to, or to resist your movements. What you have is the idea of a fly, rather than something substantial. So as I continue to ‘draw’ in VR my ideas about what I should do with this strange frictionless medium are constantly evolving. I’m not sure where it is going to lead at the moment. [I lost the metal sheen of the hook along the way. Still trying to figure out a way of keeping that.]
A virtual dry-fly for a virtual trout. I have been experimenting in VR using Tiltbrush to tie my first fly, or at least my impression of a fly. Then I took at look at some videos by the expert Davie McPhail (as recommenced by the river keeper), only to realise just how many mistakes I have made – starting with the hook being the wrong way round! Room for improvement… [Thank you Marie for all your help, and to the Corsham Institute for your support with the VR.]
Imagine one of the pillars in the cellurium at Mottisfont, with the vaulted ceiling emanating from the top; then imagine the room flooded with water from the Test, the surface reaching half way up the pillars; and finally, imagine a dry-fly hovering just above the surface. Well, that is what you have here, my first foray into drawing in virtual reality (VR). I am exploring VR to see if I might use it for Surface Tensions. I just have a hunch that this might be the right medium for this project. We will see!